Microplastic pollution

Written by Sophie Barrow

Microplastic pollution

If you haven't already noticed, we're huge supporters of the environment here at KINN so when we came across an article about Microplastic pollution on National Geographic, we had to share. 

You can read the full article here, but we've summed up a few of what we think are the most poignant points. 

A recent study has found that even in remote regions of the world, pieces of plastic are polluting rain. These plastic pieces are called microplastics. 

The study revealed that every day, 365 microplastic particles per square metre are falling in precipitation. The reading was taken from the Pyrenees Mountains in Southern France. According to the National Geographic, there were no obvious sources for the microplastics within 60 miles. 

Recently there's been vast amounts of media coverage about microplastics in oceans, but it might be news to you that plastic is actually present in the air as well. While you can see microplastics fluoresce in UV light outside, you can see them easier indoors. 

But what are the health impacts of microplastics?

Human exposure to plastic has only recently been recognised, which means the impacts on health are unknown. However, what is known is that some of the smaller microplastics can enter the body through both nose and mouth, and that the really small, but not necessarily less prevalent, can end up in lung tissue. 
It's also known that microplastics are often sticky and can gather heavy metals like mercury, which have known health impacts. Microplastic is a new atmospheric pollutant. 

Plastics and our climate 

Nearly all plastics are made from fossil fuels. According to this study, the plastics industry created 1.7 billion metric tonnes of CO2 in 2015. Volumes of plastics produced are doubling every decade which means that by 2050, 6.5 billion tonnes could be produced. This is about 15% of the global carbon budget and means if the plastics industry were a country it'd be the fourth largest CO2 emitter. 

So, if you reduce your usage of single use plastic dramatically and reuse your plastic containers instead, think how much impact you could have on climate change! 

Write For Us

We’re always on the lookout for writers who care about the environment as much as we do. If you have a track record of published content and are passionate about living sustainably, then we want to hear from you.

Learn more